Street Art & Connections


Art cannot be contained behind the walls of stately palaces, posh galleries or antiquated museums. Art is not the sole domain of private collectors.  For me, art is a universal concept that connects artist and explorer, teacher and student, adult and child.  Over the centuries, attempts to structure creativity have, in many cases, brought about the opposite effect.  New art forms came into being, allowing us to redefine our personal connections to creative endeavours.


Street Art is all about connections.  Street artists have brought art to a public space; they communicate with people where they work, live, play.  There is a strong sense of activism and a determination to start a dialogue about things that matter and are relevant to our time, and to our communities both local and global.  Whether it takes the form of graffiti, poster art, or flash mobs, we are challenged to stop, to pay attention, to participate, to enjoy.

A special thanks to GraffitiLux & Murals for inspiring me to look deeper into this art-form.


Hello everyone!

Today is World Hello Day, the 43rd since its inception in 1973.  My mission was to greet at least 10 people today and join many other kindred spirits who seek peaceful dialogue.   World Hello Day is observed by people in 180 countries and continues to bring the message that we can make a difference.  Individual effort has always been the catalyst for monumental change.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

The Art of Remembering

I Remember

The official motto of Quebec. “I remember.”

There is a time to remember, to look back, to give thanks, to mourn.  Some moments come back with vibrant clarity while others with a lingering wistfulness, and still others with a melancholy loneliness. Memories give meaning to our lives.  It is our way of saying that we have passed this way and we will remember.  We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.   We grieve at funerals and lament the possibilities of what might have been.

Vimy Ridge

Battle of Vimy Ridge April 9 – 12, 1917

Remembering is both an act of courage and hope.  It is embracing all that life has to offer, whether it be joy or pain, laughter or tears.  When we remember, our creative spirit allows us to experience the full measure of our emotional responses.   We hear a strain of music, read the line of poetry, recognize an idea in a painting.   We listen to the stories. This is the best of what art offers.

Today, as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Canada observed Remembrance Day, “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”  Streets were filled with people wearing brilliant red poppies, reminiscent of the poppies that bloomed across Flanders, during WWI.  As a nation, we remember the sacrifice of brave men and women who served.  We remember the families who suffered the loss of loved ones.  We remember that peace is a gift that demands our highest commitment.

We Remember

 “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen

Written on the Cliffs, North Cornwall UK

In Memory

Christ Church Cathedral: RCAF motto: Per Ardua Ad Astra “Through hardships to the stars.”

Who Decides?

The Message

“I write from my soul. This is the reason that critics don’t hurt me, because it is me. If it was not me, if I was pretending to be someone else, then this could unbalance my world, but I know who I am.” Paulo Coelho

Who decides whether art is good or bad?  Is it based on our personal preferences or do we defer to the opinion of an expert?  In our world, we construct benchmarks to measure such features as performance, usability, reliability which allows a novice to base decisions on the analysis of others who have expertise in an area of inquiry. This is a valuable tool.  It saves time and allows the beginner to develop an understanding of the subject-matter.

But when it comes to art, do the same principles apply?  Are we influenced by popular opinion?  Do we trust our judgment to evaluate creative endeavours?

Personal preferences and value systems do impact on the way we appreciate and recognize beauty and symmetry.  Will our individual ideas hold us back from recognizing true genius, much like those who would not accept Impressionism when it was first developed in Paris in the 1860’s?  Maybe that is our underlying concern – that we will miss something important.  This was my thought when I researched the definition of an art critic.  An art critic is simply a person whose work is to analyse and interpret works of art within the context of aesthetics, a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty and taste.

Within this framework, the prospect of diverse opinions are virtually endless, which opens the dialogue to all who take pleasure in viewing works of art.  When we enter the conversation, when we consider our sentiments relevant, we are adding depth and breadth to the creative force that drives humanity’s need to find beauty and joy.

“I don’t listen to what art critics say. I don’t know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.” Jean-Michel Basquiat


Are we all artists?


Are we artists

Most of us, when asked, “are you an artist?” would be hesitant to answer with an unqualified “yes.”    After all, that label applies to the great ones:  Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Cassatt, Picasso, Monet, O’Keeffe and the list goes on. How can we dare compare ourselves to that brilliant assembly?

That was the question that I have been asking myself these past few months.   How do we define art, talent, beauty, if we do not have some form of art within ourselves? The definition of “artist” covers a huge area, the essence being “a person who creates art.” Five simple words that do not include any measurement systems.  An artist is an artist simply because he or she creates.